LEFT: The unknown HJ boy, Jürgen Olsen, aged 15, who had never acted before; and starred in the title role after child star Hermann Braun, shown BELOW LEFT, was forced to drop out due to illness after the production was underway. Braun was given a supporting role in Quex after he recovered - playing the trecherous Grundler HJ who throws his propaganda flyers into the river after being seduced by a girl who is a Communist Party youth supporter. Braun later starred in the two top Luftwaffe war films, DIII88 and Kampfgeschwader Lützow, for which we have the original German and other foreign posters in our Poster Gallery.
Ohlsen had read the novel of Hitlerjunge Quex and familiar with the story when he and his parents were approached by Ufa to take on the role. After some disagreements about his fee, his parents agreed to their boy's participation.
BELOW RIGHT, Hitler Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach, who penned the words to the song composed for the film, Our Flag flutters before us. The song was an instant hit amongst Hitler Youth members and became their anthem.
Although film histories generally note that the late Weimar 1932 produced U-Boat feature film Morgenrot by Ufa placed the studio in good stead with the new Hitler government in early 1933, it is without doubt that its next feature film -- the first produced by Ufa during the Third Reich -- cemented the relationship in step with the wishes of the government and Dr. Goebbels. Proof of this close working relationship is clearly evident in the first announcement of the film in the 1933/1934 Ufa season preview book and then in the extremely rare 36 page "Werberatschlag" (cinema owner's guide to the film's promitional materials) which are both found in the Collection.
In a book distributed to cinema owners as a confidential report by the Ufa film studio on the state of their forthcoming annual season, they remarked on the environment in which the movie industry found itself in the new tumultuous year of 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor:
" The political gatherings, the parades, rallies, propaganda excursions, processions, political school evenings, radio broadcasts etc. have claimed a considerable amount of the general public and the otherwise always cinema-minded youth. So politics, in all it's various manifestations, hasbecome a tough competitor to the cinema and entertainment industry. It would be however completely false to become resignedto this. "
– pg. IV - V, Vorwort; Die Ufa Thester 1933/34, Richtlinen für das Theater-Geschäft, Berlin 1933.
Ufa proudly offered cinema owners it's new line-up of 1933/34 feature films, including Hitlerjunge Quex. The 1933/1934 Ufa film season program booklet stated in its first paragraph:
" In confident trust in the government of the Reich, with such an outstanding, success-–initiated, economic lift of the German people, by providing extraordinary artistic, financial and technical resources, [this] has enabled us at Ufa to offer our esteemed clientele the 1933/34 film distribution program of 27 feature, cultural and short films. "
HJ Quex had not only the famous poster available, but film stills (we have four original German stills and one original 1941 French still), and a 4 page pamphlet and an 8 page small format newspaper on the film were produced for wide distribution. The 4 page pamphlet and the 8 page newspaper (Opfergeist) are both found in our Collection, as is the Ufaton Verlag's sheet music for the new song which became a national anthem for the Hitler Youth.
The very first announcement of the film by the Ufa studios was an 8 page slick pamphlet shown below on the right, and as shown on the left, the Ufa song sheet for the new HJ song "Unsre Fahne flattert uns voran! :
The 4 page flyer's front and back pages:
The front page of the 8 page Opfergeist newspaper published by Ufa:
Until the "Werberatschlag" was after thirty years of searching acquired by the Collection in August 2014, it was not fully understood that the 4 page pamphlet and 8 page newspaper were officially part of the film's propaganda campaign as initiated and overseen by the Ufa studio. A page in the "Werberatschlag" lists both publications for cinema owners to order and help promote the film in their city:
From the 17 September 1933 issue of the popular magazine Filmwelt, a full–page advertisement for the film at the start of it's cinema run.
BELOW: From our library, an issue of the 1934 film magazine, Star, from Imperial Japan with two photos from the movie, announcing it to Japanese readers. The two photos are at the bottom of the magazine's right page.